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Daily Message from St. Edward’s – March 27, 2020

Dear parishioners,

Lots of stuff today!!!  It’s a long one, so I will just say, “enjoy” and tune in tomorrow where I will provide the daily Lenten Mediation and our weekly Cycle of Prayer!

Michelle

VIRTUAL EVENT TONIGHT:  STATIONS OF THE CROSS AT ST. EDWARD’S 6:30 pm

There will be a Live stream on the Way of the Cross (Stations of the Cross)  on Friday, March 27  and  Friday, April 3 at 6:30 pm . Please join us on Dina Ishler’s Facebook page or via Zoom as we take the journey of Jesus to the cross.  All are so very welcome to join in and when we can’t be together physically we can use this gift of technology to pray with and for each other.  For those who are not connected with Facebook and will use Zoom, use the following link:

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6463715689

Please click this link to view an important video message from Bishop Scanlan:

https://sainteds.org/an-important-message-from-bishop-scanlan-on-covid19/

St. Edward’s Bible Study Update:

This past Wednesday evening we were able to hold our Bible Study over Zoom, and after a few bumps we were able to get it working satisfactorily.  With that success, we would like to ensure that anyone who might be thinking about joining the group has the opportunity to do so.  Would you please add this information to your daily publication to the church members, letting people know that if they would like to join us, we will continue to meet each Wednesday evening at 6:30.  They will need to contact Bill (bgasperetti@att.net) or Yvonne (ygasperetti@gmail.com) and we will send instructions to join us on Zoom.  Each week we will send the I.D. number for that week’s session to those who indicate their interest in joining the meeting.

A Personal Note from Mike & Sandy Patrone:

Hello everyone!

None of us have ever been thru this time in our lives and hopefully won’t again.

Here at St. Anne’s we went from having so much to do and sometimes complaining to now no activities at all so like all of you we are improvising. Reading, walking, watching movies, praying and whatever else comes to mind. We have been to the grocery store and plan to stay in place till at least Tuesday. A miracle happened yesterday, there on the grocery shelf were two rolls of toilet paper sitting by themselves and I thought I heard them say “take me home with you” so we did. Last Sunday we watched the service streamed by St. James here in Lancaster. Next week on a day to be determined, all of us on the first floor, east wing are going to sit outside our doors and talk to one another. Just another improvised activity we thought up.

Stay safe everyone. 

–              Mike & Sandy Patrone

LENTEN MEDITATION, FRIDAY MARCH 27, 2020

Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

–              Philippians 2:4

________________________________________

The youth community at my parish came up with a saying years ago: No one sits alone. It’s become a mantra that informs everything we do. It has made sitting down for a meal an act of worship. It means high school seniors join the new sixth grader sitting alone at a table and begin conversation. It means that no matter what happened during rest of the day, when you show up at church you are going to be seen. This mantra means that everyone is tasked with focusing on others.

When Jesus calls his disciples, he asks them to leave the comfort of the lives they knew for something more. When a teenager leaves the comfort of their friend group to invite another in or go join them where they are, it is that same discipleship. It is following Christ. I think sometimes we make this following Jesus thing more complicated than it needs to be. Sit with someone who is alone. Include. Open the circle. Make room. Small acts of love can radically change the life of someone else.

–              Emily Rutledge is the Children, Youth and Family Minister at Church of Our Saviour in Charlottesville, Virginia, and a mother of two.

ONLINE WORSHIP RESOURCES:

As we worship, in our own ways this Sunday, remember there are many links with Sunday services, near and far.  Here are a few:

St. James, Lancaster Livestream:  https://www.saintjameslancaster.org/worship-care/livestream/

St. Thomas NYC 11:00 AM:  https://www.saintthomaschurch.org/events/litany-in-procession-choral-eucharist/

Trinity Church:  NYC 11:15 AM service online:  https://www.trinitywallstreet.org/events/day?day=2020-03-29&month=2020-03

STEWARDSHIP & GIVING

Also, please remember your stewardship and giving to St. Edward’s.  Our parish community is so grateful for your continued support in these times when we are apart!  Also, please do not forget to prayerfully consider a donation in ANY AMOUNT to our local Hempfield Food Pantry.  Make your donation payable to St. Edward’s and write “Food Pantry” in memo line.  They need our help! Thank you!

You can mail your giving to the church as we are picking up mail each day.  You can set up giving through online banking, and you can donate through the diocesan website, scrolling down to St. Edward’s for your weekly pledge/giving:  https://givingtools.com/give/1178/1987

Readings For Sunday, March 29th – Fifth Sunday in Lent Year A 2020

 

The Collect

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Old Testament – Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act,” says the LORD.

The Response – Psalm 130

De profundis

 

1 Out of the depths have I called to you, O LORD;

LORD, hear my voice; *

let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.

2 If you, LORD, were to note what is done amiss, *

O Lord, who could stand?

3 For there is forgiveness with you; *

therefore you shall be feared.

4 I wait for the LORD; my soul waits for him; *

in his word is my hope.

5 My soul waits for the LORD,

more than watchmen for the morning, *

more than watchmen for the morning.

6 O Israel, wait for the LORD, *

for with the LORD there is mercy;

7 With him there is plenteous redemption, *

and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

The Epistle – Romans 8:6-11

To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law– indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

The Gospel – John 11:1-45

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in square brackets.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

From The Lectionary Page: http://lectionarypage.net

Sermon:  Lent 5A 2020                                   The Reverend David Bateman

Jesus had friends. We don’t tend to think of him that way, do we? Disciples, sure, and followers, sure. But friends? The kind where you go to their house, sit down and have dinner, and just enjoy their company? That’s not usually the way we think of Jesus.

But these two sisters and a brother are described by the Gospel writer not only as friends of Jesus, but as people whom Jesus “loves”. This isn’t merely the wonderful divine regard with which Jesus sees everyone he meets. There is a special closeness here, a bond of personal affection between these siblings and Jesus that we otherwise don’t get to see in the Gospels.

So it’s all the more surprising to us, then, when Jesus, after hearing that Lazarus whom he loves is ill, delays in going to see him. He offer the disciples a rather unclear explanation using “sleeping” and “waking” as figures of speech, but when he is finally blunt in saying “Lazarus is dead”, we are just as confused as before.

The journey to Bethany is very risky now, as Jesus and his disciples know that resistance to his ministry is by the authorities has become so intense that his life is in danger. Jesus’ arrival is described in clear detail, with Lazarus dead in a tomb and mourners gathered outside and inside the house. One sister, Mary, comes out to meet Jesus before he even makes it to the house. What she says to him is a remarkable statement of faith: “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.” But we should realize that it is also an accusation that Jesus could have prevented this tragedy but did not. After that is a wonderful exchange between the two in which Mary is able to make very strong statements about Jesus and the resurrection to eternal life. But notice that Mary is always speaking about a faraway future. She doesn’t seem to be able to believe that anything can be done now.

It is time for the other sister, Mary, to enter the picture. It seemingly takes a personal invitation from Jesus to rouse Mary from her grief and get her to come outside. When she gets to Jesus, she says the same faithful but accusing words her sister did. The emotional intensity of the scene grows as Mary falls at Jesus’ feet and all are surrounded by weeping mourners. Jesus finally succumbs to the shear sadness of it all and surprises us by weeping himself. It is not something we have seen Jesus do before, and it speaks not only to the tragedy of the situation but also to the intimate closeness he feels to each of these siblings. Jesus himself is grieving.

The picture is so powerful that sometimes we ourselves must wipe away a tear of our own. Then the mourners react in the same way that we would; they are impressed by Jesus’ love for Lazarus, but they wonder why he seemed unable to prevent it.

The climax  is even more dramatic than what has come before. Jesus is described as still being “greatly disturbed”. He shocks everyone by ordering the opening of the tomb, and Martha warns about the raw reality of human decomposition. But Jesus prays and then, shouting, literally orders Lazarus to come out. No one present was prepared for that shout, nor for the dread appearance of Lazarus, still in his grave wrappings. If any of us had been there, we would have been equally stunned.

When Jesus says “Unbind him and let him go”, we realize that he is talking not just of the practical need to assist Lazarus, but also of the reality of resurrection, which is indeed to unbind us from the power of death and to make us more free to live than we had ever imagined. Jesus wept for his friend but also for the terrible toll that death takes upon all of us. And when he shouts his command, he is mocking, undermining and undoing that terrible power and overcoming it, beating it, and breaking it. This is the last thing Jesus does in the Gospel of John before he enters Jerusalem to face the fate of Lazarus for himself.

Daily Message from St. Edward’s – March 21, 2020

Dear parishioners,

It is a beautiful spring day today and what better way to spend it than to perhaps get a “jump” on cleaning up our outdoor spaces, if we have yards, or just taking a step outside onto your deck or patio and breath in some sunshine and fresh air!  We hope you are able to take advantage of these weekend sunny spring days.  I saw on social media a great Isolation Wellbeing Daily “To-Do” list, which had some very useful and mindful suggestions.  Focusing on the positive is where we need to travel in these new times.

  • Shower and take your medication
  • Clean one thing/space
  • Tend something growing
  • Be mindfully present to:  A sound or song; a sensory feeling; something you see; a spiritual practice
  • Reach out to a human being beyond your home

Until tomorrow. . . .

Michelle

Today’s message is the Lenten Meditation for Saturday, March 21st as well as our weekly cycle of prayer so you can keep in your prayers those we would recognize at our Sunday worship, in addition to all those we pray for in these current times. 

 

LENTEN MEDITATION, MARCH 21, 2020

Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church.

  • The Book of Common Prayer

________________________________________

During seminary, I spent quite a bit of time in the Chapel of the Apostles at The School of Theology in Sewanee. The chapel’s stone, wood, metal and glass formed a cathedral of light, transparent to the changes in seasons and time, which in turn formed me through the rhythm of the community that gathered to pray.

But one of the most formative features of the chapel wasn’t made of stone, wood, metal or glass; instead, it was a little boy named John Michael. He was born with an infection that left him with major health and developmental issues. He was small for his age. He couldn’t stand or talk or feed himself. Sometimes he would moan or cough, but it was more than apparent that John Michael loved being in the chapel. He was often there with his seminarian father who held him in one hand and The Book of Common Prayer in the other. He showed me what the Body of Christ looks like—every baptized person no matter their age or development, who, when gathered together, form Christ’s Body. Full members. Every one of us.

  • Jamie Osborne serves as a priest at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where he lives with his wife, Lauren, and their two elementary-age children.

 

Anglican Cycle of Prayer

Pray for the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer

St. Paul’s, Wellsboro

We pray for Christians, Muslims, and Jews and all people of faith throughout the world who are suffering persecution for their beliefs.

Parish Cycle of Prayer: Sam Fleming; Curt and Mary Ann Franck; Mike Freshwater; Bob Gepert and Anne Labat-Gepert

Pray for the recently departed:  Joyce Shank, mother of Michael Shank

Praying for those we love and who are important in our lives is an essential component of our worship, but many of the names listed and read out in the Prayers of the People are known only to those who have requested them, and the list grows each week.  So, when we come to the Prayers of the people in the service, the names for those “You are asked to pray for” and those “for our military personnel” will not be read aloud; rather we invite you to lift those names up to God in Christ silently in your heart as we pray the Prayers of the People, adding any others you wish to pray for.

You are asked to pray for:  The St. Edward’s Vestry, The Rev. David Bateman, The residents of The Episcopal Home, Lucetta Kiefer, Joe Holwager, Rose Dixon, Arch Cross, Mary Walker, Liz Yeager, Patricia Stout, Marge Sieghardt, Harry West, Sandy Patrone, Mimi Stauffer, Robert Hubbard, Kate Peterson, Donna J. Mott, Charlotte Jakiel, Stephanie Patrone, Nicholas Patrone, Dakota Patrone, DJ Dixon, Robert, The Rev. Jay Croft, Robert Carter, Dorothy Diehl, Barbara Bradfield, Fran Davis, Pat Kiefer, Cody Campbell, Heather, Cheryl Shearer, Myra Taylor, Sally Mears, Barry Leed, Father Sud, Dr. Randy Cohen and Family, Aaron Rowe, Sr., Dorothy Rowe, Dr. Karl and Carolyn Moyer, James Pentland Moore, Joseph Holena, Rick Welk, Max Lown, Aiden Guillory, Joyce Shank

You are asked to pray for our military personnel who are being deployed or serving in the military:  Rev. David J. Sparks, Evan Westgate, Adam and Christina Grim, David Peck, David Sternberg, John Lewis, Gordon Frankenfield, Allison Tomich, Mike Spurr, Seamas Whitesel, Capt. Andrew Pfeiffer, 1st Lt. Thomas Whitesel, Brandon Fox, Alex Kube, Richard Mutari, Dustin Burleson, Anthony Koser, Jack Hawk, Christina Dragon, Justin Carnahan, Clayton Tennies, Benjamin Jenkins, Andy Lopez

Daily Message from St. Edward’s – March 20, 2020

Dear parishioners,

I could never have imagined writing a weekly email to St. Edward’s under these circumstances. The coronavirus has caused things to change so rapidly and severely that it’s almost hard to catch our breath. Yet here we are.

Americans are traditionally such a positive and “can-do” bunch of people that it’s extra hard for many us to not be able to go out and take obvious, concrete actions in this crisis. It’s hard to just hunker down.

But it’s good to remember that Christians are actually supremely well-equipped to deal with difficult circumstances. Our world-view doesn’t assume that things will always go well or that people will always make the best choices. Instead it offers us a longer vision and reminds us that this is God’s world, that adversity is always part of Christian living, and that prayer and ministry to others are always the way forward.

In the meantime, as your pastor I encourage you to do things to keep up your own spirits. Take an appropriately “social distanced” walk if you can. Make a special effort to love and enjoy the company of those in your household. Use the telephone and internet to speak to those you care about, taking every opportunity to see their faces and hear their voices when you can. During this time of enforced isolation, reach out to others in every way possible. It will be good for you and good for them. God would approve.

David +

Readings For Sunday, March 22nd – Fourth Sunday in Lent Year A 2020

The Collect

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Old Testament:  1 Samuel 16:1-13

The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the LORD commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the LORD.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

The Response:  Psalm 23

Dominus regit me

1 The LORD is my shepherd; *

I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures *

and leads me beside still waters.

3 He revives my soul *

and guides me along right pathways for his Name’s sake.

4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I shall fear no evil; *

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; *

you have anointed my head with oil,

and my cup is running over.

6 Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, *

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

 

The Epistle:  Ephesians 5:8-14

Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Sleeper, awake!

Rise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.”

 

The Gospel:  John 9:1-41

As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.”

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

Optional parts of the readings are set off in square brackets.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

From The Lectionary Page: http://lectionarypage.net

 

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year A      2020

                The Rev. David Bateman

 

Among our readings for this Sunday are two wonderful stories.  From the book of the prophet Samuel we have the selection of David to be the future king of Israel, a well-known story many of us learned as children in Sunday school.  And from the Fourth Gospel we have the tale of the healing of the man born blind, a narrative which some think may be the most artistically crafted and well-told of any in the New Testament.  The anointing of David is in the Lenten lectionary as part of the series of major events in salvation history that we have been listening to this season, such as the creation, the calling of Abraham, and Moses leading Israel through the wilderness.  The healing of the blind man is in the lectionary now because Lent and Easter are the time of year when we hear parts of the Gospel according to John that would otherwise get left out of a three-year cycle.

Despite their both being good stories, however, they are not very much alike.  The casts of characters bear little resemblance to one another, and the kind of action taken by God is quite different in each of the tales.  Perhaps we should simply say they are different narratives that just happen to be read today for different reasons, and leave it at that.  Which one appeals to you more, the story of a crafty God tricking king Saul and fooling everyone at Bethlehem, or the story of a blind man who turns out to be pretty good at arguing with the Pharisees?

Or to ask it in a different way, which tale do you prefer, the one in which God vindicates the underdog at the expense of the authorities, or the one in which God vindicates the underdog at the expense of the authorities?  Yes, you read that correctly.  Because, you see, when we ask it that way, all of a sudden the differences between these two passages disappear.  David is the youngest of his brothers and the family sheep-tender; that makes him the person of least importance doing the job with the least status.  Compare him to the disabled protagonist of the gospel story, a nameless and sightless grown man who is so disbelieved that his parents are asked to speak for him.  Furthermore, God hatches a clever plot to exalt the boy David and fool the king at the same time, while in a similar way God uses the healed blind man to make fools of the Jewish leaders.

But it is not enough that we merely recognize what is going on in these two episodes.  We also have to be aware of the way we hear the stories, to notice what sort of ears we tend to listen with, for there is a great spiritual danger waiting here for people just like us.  This is because the most natural thing in the world is for us to focus on David with the beautiful eyes, or on the blind man who does so well under cross-examination.  Given our choices among the different characters, we are tempted to identify with the good guys, to put ourselves in the shoes of one of the more admirable people.  And yet if the contrast is between the nobodies and the establishment, between those who lack status and voice and privileges versus those who are respected and listened to and are part of powerful institutions, then, realistically, where do you think most of us in this congregation and in the Episcopal Church are going to fall?

Honesty requires us to see that these two stories are aimed, in a very crucial sense, against people like us.  Here, as in countless places throughout the Bible, God is exhibiting a bias — a clear prejudice, if you will — in favor of those who are ignored or small or in need.  Because the balance is so often tilted against them, God actively takes their part; whenever there are sides, God takes that side.

This serves as a good reminder as we endure the crisis surrounding the coronavirus and COVID-19. Now that most of us have taken care of our basic needs and hunkered down at home to ride it out, it’s time to think of others: the people who are losing their jobs & paychecks, the people who are getting sick, those who are already homebound & on their own, and those who already were on the margins for whom things can only get worse. God is on their side, and we must, in our own limited ways, strive to be on their side, too.

There are many good reasons for making sacrifices and giving things up in this season of Lent, but one reason we might not always think of has to do with that other side that God is on, and the people who are part of it.  The people on the other side spend much of their lives being deprived and doing without against their wills.  When we voluntarily deny ourselves something good, we share a small experience of solidarity with God’s favorite people.  It doesn’t mean that we have completely changed sides or even that we fully understand that side, but it does mean that we choose to care, that we want to be connected, and that we are trying hear what God says and see what God is doing.  When we talk about seeing and God, though, we should talk about a Who instead of a what.  Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.”

Even though Lent is now half-way over, it’s not too late to take on a small Lenten sacrifice or to see your existing disciplines with new eyes.  “Therefore it is said, ‘Awake, O sleeper, … and Christ shall give you light.’”  Amen.

 

Links to Sunday Worship Webcasts:

Sunday, March 22nd | 11:00 AM High Altar Webcast

St. Thomas Church – NYC Festal Eucharist

https://www.saintthomaschurch.org/events/festal-eucharist-13/

 

Washington National Cathedral

Sunday, March 22, 2020 | 11:15am

This event will be broadcast online due to concerns related to the coronavirus. The Cathedral will be closed through May 16.

Join us for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist on the Fourth Sunday in Lent.

https://cathedral.org/event/holy-eucharist-4-2018-03-04-2018-05-06-2018-06-10-2018-09-09-2018-10-07-2018-11-18-2018-12-16-2018-12-30-2019-01-20-2019-04-28-2019-05-05-2019-09-08-2019-09-29-2019-11-03-2020-01-05-2020-03-22/

Links to Useful Resources for Prayer and Stewardship:

https://sainteds.org/links/

https://diocesecpa.org/stewardship/

 

LENTEN MEDITATION, MARCH 20, 2020

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

  • Ephesians 5:1-2

________________________________________

Without fail, on my children’s birthdays, family friends arrive at our home with a tower of homemade cards and trinkets. Carefully drawn and colored pictures, Perler beads melted into new shapes, delicately folded origami animals, rainbow loom bracelets in favorite colors. Each created treasure is as unique as its recipient and the relationship shared with its creator. This abundant outpouring of love is so personal and thoughtful.

These friends began creating their gifts with their whole hearts since they were able, though over the past five years the cards have become more ornate and the handmade gifts a bit more complex. Yet the spirit of it remains the same. As I revel in the love poured into these personal, fragrant offerings, it makes me reconsider the meaning of the gifts I send with a click of the button and two-day shipping.

Children are able to imitate God without making it hard. They share art, remember favorite colors and create things that honor the beauty they see in the person they are celebrating. It’s holy and it’s simple. And it’s so easily forgotten as we grow older.

  • Emily Rutledge is the Children, Youth and Family Minister at Church of Our Saviour in Charlottesville, Virginia, and a mother of two.

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Services at St. Edward’s & Christmas Message From Bishop Scanlan – The Diocese of Central Pennsylvania

Please join The Reverend David Bateman for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services at St. Edward’s.  Our service schedule is as follows:

Christmas Eve

4:30 pm Family/Children’s Service with Holy Communion

Praise Band begins playing at 4:15 pm and nursery is available for ages infant – 4 years of age.

9:00 pm Festival Holy Eucharist with Choir

Nursery is available for ages infant – 4 years of age.

Christmas Day

10:00 am Holy Eucharist Rite II

We look forward to sharing Christmas with you at St. Edward’s!


III Advent 2019

Dear Members of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania,

I often speak and write about the Christian path as opening oneself to transformation. Transformation is the process by which we come to know, deeply, the love of God for us and all creation. We can put ourselves in the path to be transformed, but it is only the grace of God, in God’s good time, that affects our growing in holiness.

In a culture that prizes achievement, entrepreneurship, and “get up and go,” it feels counterintuitive to wait on God to fill us with grace. I think that God is moving and acting with grace all the time; we need to sharpen our focus to see God at work around us and in us.

Sometimes, God’s grace sneaks up on us, and we find ourselves awash in holiness as the Holy Spirit breaks in.  Last Sunday afternoon, I experienced such a moment: I was sitting in a cavernous Roman Catholic church in Baltimore- St. Cyprian- attending a performance of Handel’s Messiah. Like many in the audience, I knew the music well, having sung it several times in choirs through the years. I knew what to expect. I enjoyed the choir, the orchestra, the exceptional soloists, the ornate sculptures and frescos decorating the church, the strong beam of sunlight reaching through the stained glass, landing in a colorful puddle in my pew. Everything felt good and fine- just as I had imagined it would. What I was not prepared for was the sudden breaking in of the Holy Spirit, bringing sharp tears to my eyes as the bass soloist sang his recitative from 1 Corinthians 15:

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

All at once, I recognized the power of God in my life, my absolute inability to push away or control such a deluge of love, the conviction that God’s dream for us is to be changed, and that this gift of being changed would make me- and all who have gone before- whole. It was certainty. It was mighty. It was about deep love, and it was for me. (It’s for you, too!)

It was grace.

I left, having had a good cry, filled with the glorious sounds of a time-tested musical masterpiece, and ever more certain of God’s love and power in my life. Much more than I’d bargained for with the price of my ticket.

God loves with grace in and through our lives all the time. Grace- and our faith that God will turn up- is what changes us; we are Shaped by Faith.

We are about to celebrate one of the moments in which God gave us a gift for all time- the gift of our Savior, Jesus. Jesus came as a small baby but filled with the grace of God- grace to teach, shape, and save us.

My Christmas prayer for each of you is that you will experience God’s love this season- in little ways that will continue to work on you, in you, to shape you in faithfulness, as God’s beloved.

A holy Christmas to you all as we welcome the babe Jesus, God’s gift of love for us.

+Audrey

The Rt. Rev. Audrey C. Scanlan

XI Bishop


Download Bishop Scanlan letter here.

Christmas Services at St. Edward’s & Presiding Bishop Curry Christmas Message 2019

Please join The Reverend David Bateman for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services at St. Edward’s.  Our service schedule is as follows:

Christmas Eve

4:30 pm Family/Children’s Service with Holy Communion

Praise Band begins playing at 4:15 pm and nursery is available for ages infant – 4 years of age.

9:00 pm Festival Holy Eucharist with Choir

Nursery is available for ages infant – 4 years of age.

Christmas Day

10:00 am Holy Eucharist Rite II

We look forward to sharing Christmas with you at St. Edward’s!


Presiding Bishop Curry’s Christmas Message 2019

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry said in his Christmas Message 2019.

The video of the Presiding Bishop’s message is here

The text of the Presiding Bishop’s message follows:

In the first chapter of John’s Gospel, sometimes referred to as the prologue to the Gospel, sometimes spoken of as the whole Gospel in miniature the Gospel writer says this. As he reflects on the coming of God into the world in the person of Jesus. As he reflects on Christmas. He says, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.

I don’t think it’s an accident that long ago, followers of Jesus began to commemorate his coming into the world when the world seemed to be at its darkest.

It’s probably not an accident that we observe Christmas soon after December 21, the winter solstice. The winter solstice being in the Northern Hemisphere the darkest time of the year.

Undoubtedly, these ancient Christians who began to celebrate the coming of God into the world, they knew very well that this Jesus, his teachings, his message, his spirit, his example, his life points us to the way of life itself, a way of life, where we take care of each other. A way of life, where we care for God’s world. A way of life, where we are in a loving relationship with our God, and with each other as children of the one God, who has created us all.

They also knew John’s Gospel and John’s Christmas story. Now there are no angels in John’s Christmas story. There are no wise men coming from afar. There’s no baby lying in a manger. There’s no angel choir singing Gloria in excelsis Deo in the highest of the heavens. There are no shepherds tending their flocks by night. Matthew and Luke tell those stories. In John, it is the poetry of new possibility, born of the reality of God when God breaks into the world.

It’s not an accident that long ago, followers of Jesus began to commemorate his birth, his coming into the world. When the world seemed darkest. When hope seemed to be dashed on the altar of reality. It is not an accident that we too, commemorate his coming, when things do not always look right in this world.

But there is a God. And there is Jesus. And even in the darkest night. That light once shined and will shine still.  His way of love is the way of life. It is the light of the world. And the light of that love shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not, cannot, and will not overcome it.

God love you. God bless you and may you have a Merry Christmas and may this world be blessed. Amen.

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church offers two digital Christmas Eve programs

Perhaps your loved one or family member are home bound at Christmas but would like to experience a Christmas Eve service with The Episcopal Church.  Below are links to two offerings presented via The Episcopal Church website on December 24th.

[December 17, 2019] The Episcopal Church is offering two, digital Christmas Eve programs on December 24. Available on both the Episcopal Church website and the Episcopal Church Facebook page, these programs makes Christmas Eve worship accessible to those not attending a service or program at a local church.

Both services will be available beginning on Christmas eve: St. Thomas’ at 4:00 pm and St. John the Baptist’s at 12:00 pm as well as at 6:00 pm (all times EST) and then available on demand.

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Saint Thomas Fifth Avenue, New York, New York

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is one of the pivotal and most popular choral services of the year. For many, it marks the beginning of Christmas. The service follows a format designed by Edward White Benson, who later became Archbishop of Canterbury, in which nine lessons are interspersed among 12 carols, motets and hymns. The lessons – which cover the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus – will be read by nine representatives of the Saint Thomas parish: a chorister, a member of the Sunday School, a gentleman of the choir, the director of music, the headmaster of the choir school, a member of the congregation, a warden of the parish, a priest of the parish, and finally the rector.

Saint Thomas is the only Episcopal church in the United States that operates a boarding school for its choristers. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Saint Thomas Choir School. The Choir of Saint Thomas is steeped in the Anglican choral tradition, offering at least five sung services a week, including weekday Choral Evensongs.

Christmas Eve liturgy

St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, Seattle, Washington

This is a traditional Christmas Eve liturgy with Holy Eucharist and congregational singing of carols, including Silent Night by candlelight towards the end of the service. In an effort to intentionally create more space for silence and listening in the liturgy and worship, following the sermon the congregation will observe a full three minutes of silence and listening indicated by the pealing of bells. The liturgy will be conducted in the expansive language version of the Holy Eucharist Rite Two. This updated version of the liturgical text was approved for trial use at the Episcopal Church’s 2018 General Convention.

Click on link below and follow their calendar of events to December 24th.

The Episcopal Church offers two, digital Christmas Eve programs

December 1st – Choral Evensong at St. Edward’s featuring The Lancaster Chamber Singers

A service of choral evensong will be held at St. Edward’s Episcopal Church on Sunday, December 1st, at 4 PM.  This event is free, but an offering will be received.

The service, which takes place on the First Sunday of Advent, with The Reverend David Bateman serving as Cantor and Officiant, will feature The Lancaster Chamber Singers.

 The Lancaster Chamber Singers, directed by Jay W. Risser, has played a major role in quality performances of choral masterpieces in central Pennsylvania since the ensemble’s founding in 1978.  From its inception, the mission of the Lancaster Chamber Singers has been to provide a rich choral opportunity for experienced voices in the greater Lancaster area and to bring to life for both audience and performer the great choral heritage of our culture.  The select group consists of 35 to 40 auditioned vocalists from varied walks of life from central Pennsylvania.

Performing primarily in Lancaster County and its immediate surroundings, the Lancaster Chamber Singers has also appeared in numerous invitation-only settings such as the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and Longwood Gardens.  In addition to performing a capella, the singers perform with Lancaster area instrumentalists and chamber ensembles.

Performances of note include Mozart’s Requiem with former Metropolitan Opera bass/baritone John Darrenkamp and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with Met baritone Mark Oswald.  LCS premiered Voices of Psalms, a unique work based on an Amish hymn, by Lancaster County composer Pomice Stoltzfus.  The ensemble also presented the Pennsylvania premiere of James Bassi’s Harpsonnets, based on the works of Shakespeare and featuring New York City harpist Ray Pool.   Several benefit concerts for victims of natural disasters have been sponsored and performed by the Lancaster Chamber Singers.  LCS was invited to help celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown with a concert at Bruton Parish Church, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.  In the spring of 2018, the Lancaster Chamber Singers marked its 40th anniversary with a gala performance of Mozart’s Mass in C Major (Coronation Mass) with full orchestra.

The December program is the fourth event in The Rev. Canon Stephen C. Casey Cultural Event Series at St. Edward’s for 2019, showcasing the church’s fellowship outreach.

Embrace Open House at St. Edward’s

As we follow in the steps of “What We Believe” as Episcopalians, St. Edward’s is taking the opportunity to invite people who may have abandoned their faith because of prejudice they may have faced in other congregations, and to offer a local “safe space” for people of any identity and/or orientation by opening our doors to welcome and affirm the LGBTQ community members. 

On Sunday, July 21st we will be part of the Pride Week Open Houses in partnership with Embrace, a local organization supporting Lancaster’s LGBTQ people of faith.  We will be joining many other churches in the Lancaster County faith community in the hopes that we can connect members of the LGBTQ community with open and affirming worship and fellowship, especially at St. Edward’s.

As is highlighted on our The Episcopal Church website:

We Episcopalians believe in a loving, liberating, and life-giving God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As constituent members of the Anglican Communion in the United States, we are descendants of and partners with the Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church, and are part of the third largest group of Christians in the world.

We believe in following the teachings of Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection saved the world.

We have a legacy of inclusion, aspiring to tell and exemplify God’s love for every human being; women and men serve as bishops, priests, and deacons in our church. Laypeople and clergy cooperate as leaders at all levels of our church. Leadership is a gift from God, and can be expressed by all people in our church, regardless of sexual identity or orientation.

We believe that God loves you – no exceptions.

On June 12, 2019, during Pride Month, our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry offered his statement that honors LGBTQ Episcopalians, which you can read by clicking this link below or visiting the St. Edward’s website on the “What We Believe” page.

Presiding Bishop’s Pride Month statement honors LGBTQ Episcopalians

We hope you will join us on July 21st at your worship service of choice – 8 AM or 10:15 AM and coffee/fellowship hours, and show our brothers and sisters of the LGBTQ community what a welcoming and faith-affirming parish St. Edward’s is and will always be.